Joanna Campbell Slan is the award-winning author of the Kiki Lowenstein Mysteries (an Agatha Award Finalist) and two other mystery series.
Her stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series have been read and loved by millions. Her books reviving the classic heroine Jane Eyre have won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award. In her past life, Joanna was a television talk show host, an adjunct professor of public relations, a sought-after motivational speaker, and a corporate speechwriter. The Glassblower’s Wife is her latest novel.
Q: Joanna, thanks for coming by to chat about The Glassblower’s Wife. Can you tell us about it?
A: The year is 1684, and glassmakers from Venice have been smuggled into France to create glass for the Hall of Mirrors. The Doge of Venice sends an assassin to kill all the artists, but he underestimates the intensity of one woman’s courage.
Q: Your protagonist is a disabled, a widow, and a member of a persecuted minority. How does this affect the way she approaches solving this mystery? What are her hidden strengths?
A: Because she is underestimated, Ruth is able to work a “miracle.” Ruth’s hidden strengths are her ability to observe carefully and her skill at remembering recipes.
Q: What inspired you to write this story?
A: My sister happened upon something about the Jewish glassblowers, and I was intrigued. There aren’t a lot of stories out there about this segment of the population, so I found what I learned particularly interesting.
Q: What kind of research did you do?
A: I read several books about glassblowers, including one about Daphne du Maurier’s family. Of course, I did as much researching on the Internet as I could. Finally, I consulted friends who know much more than I do about Judaism. (And did I mention that I’ve been to Versailles? I have!)
Q: Did your research turn up any surprises?
A: I was amazed to hear that forks were considered pretentious, and that they were first used in Italy. And the process of turning a blown bubble of glass into a flat piece was fascinating, as well.
Q: Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser?”
A: Both. I will work a little, then do an outline or a list, and then go back to the piece and see what develops. It’s different for everything I write.
Q: Is this book part of a series, and are you working on a sequel? What’s next for you?
A: I think it will be a stand-alone, but who knows? Next, I need to write All Washed Up, which will be the third book in the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series. Back to research!
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To find our more about Joanna and her work:
List of Joanna’s Works — http://tinyurl.com/JoannaSlan
Joanna’s Website — http://www.JoannaSlan.com
Facebook — http://www.Facebook.com/JoannaCampbellSlan
Blog — http://www.JoannaSlan.blogspot.com
Twitter — http://www.twitter.com/JoannaSlan
LinkedIn — http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/JoannaSlan
Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/JoannaCampbellSlan
Amazon Author Page – http://tinyurl.com/JoannaSlan
Pinterest — https://www.pinterest.com/joannaslan/
Contact Joanna by emailing her assistant, Sally Lippert, at firstname.lastname@example.org.